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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  July 17, 2017 12:30am-1:01am BST

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a women has been shot dead and three others injured while waiting to vote in an unofficial referendum in venezuela. this video is believed to show people rushing away from the scene as gunshots were fired. the vote follows months of violence and political unrest police in spain have accused an organised crime group of trading meat that's unfit for humans across europe. more than 60 people have been arrested. the new dr who in the popular bbc sci fi drama has been announced and for the first time it's a woman. the actorjodie whittaker becomes the 13th timelord replacing peter capaldi, who took the role in 2013. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk.
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i'm stephen sackur. my my guest today... mohammed fairouz, a youthful artist who has spent much of his creative life defying boundaries and stereotypes. his work ranges from symphonies to opera, to unique fusions of music and poetry. he's an arab educated and resident in the west, an outspoken advocate for creative freedom who nonetheless rails against western cultural imperialism. his aim is to foster cultural crossover rather than confrontation, but can this artist avoid taking sides? mohammed fairouz, welcome to heart
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talk. it is great to be here. arab pa rents, talk. it is great to be here. arab parents, but schooling and residential life a lot of it in the us and some in the uk. in terms of the tradition which is the bedrock of your music, would you say it is western or arab? the truthful answer is that it is much more of a mess than that. music has no respect for borders, sound has no respect for walls. you go tojerusalem and you hear the bells from the hollis —— wholly support intermingle with the
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mask. put it this way, people who speak many languages, they talk about the language they are dreaming. do you have a musical language which is your instinctive first language? that is where music is particularly special. it bypasses all of that because you cannot have figurative... i cannot paint a fork in music, it gets passed that and goes to the things that are truly universal about human beings, the beating of the heart, the human voice, it is energy say you cannot have a monopoly on energy or sound. they have mixed for thousands of yea rs they have mixed for thousands of years so they have mixed for thousands of years so if i am to be honest and
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genuine in answering that question, because of what i know, i know how much of a mess it is. it is a very frank answer but you have been to some very formalised musical schools, you have done the conservatory school in the us and also worked with classical arabic musicians. when you say to them i am a fusion kid, do they say you cannot do that because you are not respect think the integrity of our tradition? when i went to the conservatory, what was really fascinating was walking into music history calls and you sort of start with the greeks and then you skip over, there is a blind spot and then you are in the middle ages and you do not touch on any nonwestern
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using. you literally have are book called following western music but when you go to aleppo, what you discover all of the stuff from hildegard, mozart, bach, came from another civilisation and vice—versa. you find people saying more often, wow, we you find people saying more often, wow, we recognise you find people saying more often, wow, we recognise that. that is one of our lullabies. that is one of the things we much people off the wall, to serenade our loved ones. you have written symphonies and operas, works we serve associate with traditional music. i am alive. we serve associate with traditional music. iam alive. iam we serve associate with traditional music. i am alive. i am not a classical composer. most at was a
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classical composer. most at was a classical composer, 18th century period. i am not that old. you said i could get off the plane and here put java in music i could get off the plane and here putjava in music and they get to a clu b putjava in music and they get to a club and listen to beyonce and then a band in beirutand ifi club and listen to beyonce and then a band in beirut and if i still sounded like mozart after all of that, it would be kind of weird. how far it you take this fusion approach? i think as far as it has a lwa ys approach? i think as far as it has always been taken. i think people have been exchanging ideas creatively for centuries, millennia and every renaissance has been refined by the breaking down of boundaries and walls, sharing ideas, discovering what people have in common and amplifying each other‘s strengths. to give an idea of how
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you do this, let's play a clip. this isa you do this, let's play a clip. this is a fascinating performance by an indian dancer using your music. (music playing). it is beautiful to look at. i wonder how much collaboration there is, when you work with the beautiful dancer, you have worked with famous poets, how deep is the collaboration. i have to admit, this
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was found well before we imagined donald trump would ever be our president but it was proposed to be ina president but it was proposed to be in a reality tv fashion that made me very suspicious. when the bbc said they wanted to do this, they said you have five days. from scratch. i said, that is impossible. i have never met the woman. she has never been to new york. and not only was there this bollywood dance tradition that have thousands of years of baggage and history that i did not know much about, there was also david cracker, the clarinettist, was bringing ajewish david cracker, the clarinettist, was bringing a jewish tradition of... you can hear it... where you go to
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those eastern european villages were those eastern european villages were those people are no longer there, the holocaust, they left the country, whatever, they left the country, whatever, they left the country, they are dead, or they were killed by the ideas were not dead. you still here the sound. it is impossible to kill that energy, impossible to kill that energy, impossible to kill an idea even though you can kill people. there was the classical stodgy thing of the quartet as well coming together and what is magical is that it worked. it worked. it is like we could have not spoken the same language and yet the fluidity of the human body, the universality of what she was doing, she understood the reason. there were things that were just be on the need to try to translate and it worked and we did
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it in five days and i think that is sort of like a controlled experiment. it is really interesting. let's switch focus, you talk with such passion about finding common ground with an artist like her, here you have never met before, purely in artistic terms but a lot of your work, the recent work, has had a real world political edge to it. to what extent these days are you as an arab american feel that you as an arab american feel that you need to use your art to explore politics? well, i think an interest in statecraft and politics has been something that has defined by work. for many years. i think that when a politician comes on the show, they are basically coming to sell
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something and they are asking people to give them something — power. and an artist is doing something that is very different from that. they are offering ideas and insight into the internal human condition and societies are human beings multiplied... offering ideas all delivering polemics and various specific critiques. just looking at recent things, the dictator ‘s wife, which you put on a washington, dc just before the trump in duration seem to be a direct message about authoritarian corruption that might be taken as a your feeling, warwick, about donald trump coming to the white house. of course but i think that the thing about this, kennedy had a great way of putting this, if donald trump was in the white house
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during the cuban missile crisis i probably will never have been born. the temperance, the idea of understanding that power has its limitations, that wilting power has its limitations and indeed it kennedy did say where power corrupts poetry cleanses. there is a special accountability that artists can hold people in power too. your consciousness is very much affected by being an arab american in an era, as we know, donald trump in particular with his travel ban on certain muslim countries, appears to associate muslims... these are my words not his... muslims from particular countries with terrorism. as an american citizen, how does
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that make you feel? i would like to emphasise that i do not really think... i think donald trump represents something that is an outgrowth of at least 60 years of decline in one of our political parties in our country that has refused to participate in our democratic process, the republican party and as far as his views on the muslims are concerned, i think this cut to the heart of what we would call a clash of civilisations. this is the reason why a clash of civilisations is not happening. sadiq khan was marching in pride, the mayor of london, and he probably shares a lot of use with angela merkel, treating people with dignity, being inclusive is, it
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these are global cities. insisting that someone is your enemy...” these are global cities. insisting that someone is your enemy... i am going to stop you. i think it is useful to have a representation in sound and vision. in the netherlands you put on a show, the new prince, which played with images of us politics including a character appearing to be based on donald trump. let's have a quick look at that now. (music playing). . you have tried preventing us from living. you have tried preventing us from living. chains and irons. chains and irons.
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pounding of locks. keys and bars. keys and bars. so many arresting images that i don't know where to begin almost. 0ne images that i don't know where to begin almost. one thing strikes me. you have put on different forms of music, particular lay operas, which clearly carry a critique of power,
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especially western exercise of that power. but one thing you have in your career is anything that really, clearly ta kes your career is anything that really, clearly takes on, confronts, and criticises, the arab world, you don't talk about that. why is that? i criticise political power around the world. i wrote several articles criticising several arab governments. i have been vocal in my critique. what i do think is that the west and the arab world can help each other if they approach each other in a more genuine way. i think there is this sense that we are going to criticise imperialism coming from the west and the west is going to take ao—year—old critiques of the arab world rather than other
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things we can solve together. there are universal values we have together. you are a publicly out gay man and an artist and frankly, you would find life in many parts of the arabian gulf, saudi arabia, the emirates, where your parents are from, you would find life there in possible, not least because being 93v, possible, not least because being gay, being actively gay, is a criminal offence that is severely punishable in saudi arabia, potentially by death itself. but you don't speak out about that at all.|j have spoken out about sexual repression in middle eastern countries and western countries. repression in middle eastern countries and western countriesm i may enter up, you have criticised human rights watch, amnesty international, for you the hour mark what you regard as culturally inappropriate analysis. —— for what
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you. you say they are using a com pletely you. you say they are using a completely western and non—nuanced understanding of homosexuality in the arab world, but i don't understand that. they are approaching it with a noninclusive point of view that does not take into consideration... i mean, you define me as a gay man which i don't identify with in that way... what do you mean by that? there are really no arabic words for "gay" or "straight." and i axley find the idea of being "straight" kind of strange. there is a tradition and it is quite different. we are coming to a point, ithink, in the is quite different. we are coming to a point, i think, in the western world, where we are talking about non— binary definitions of
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sexuality. 0k? non— binary definitions of sexuality. ok? we are talking about fluidity in sexuality. the arab world, go back, thousands of years of tradition in this form. there are a lot of people in the arab world who would like to identify with the tradition that they belong to and enjoy equal rights with their fellow citizens. i believe that all arab nations must guarantee equal protection is for all citizens of. would your work, could it be put on in your country of heritage, the united arab emirates, or saudi, kuwait, bahrain, is there any ability for you to do this in the arab world itself? my song cycle,
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called songs from ibin havesh, based on his same—sex love poetry. they have been done in the united arab emirates. i have another song with baritones and male singers in the west who have identified and seen this. and it has been done over there. and they are not only done, they are taught and memorised by people over there. i will ask you before we end about something very current and relevant for you being in the uk. you put on a performance ata in the uk. you put on a performance at a big manchester arts festival, a musical performance. you are doing it only weeks after a man of libyan origin, a young man, a militant,
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appearing to be loyal in his own way to so—called islamic state, he put a bomb inside an ariana grande concert, killing women and children. do you believe your music and your message about the bridge building and the cultural cross—fertilisation that can happen through music, do you think about, right now, can make a difference to the thinking of people in a city like manchester? not why itself. i mean, it has been said you must love one another or die. he meant it. we have two options. we have a serious issue with violence erupting throughout the world. some of it is linked to extremist thought and to radicalisation. i would urge an
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uncoupling of what is, as a matter of fa ct, uncoupling of what is, as a matter of fact, a small number of people from the second—largest civilisation in human history. that gives them legitimacy that they crave. it gives them association they do not need to have... but they are muslims and they are coming out of a very small number of mosques inspired by a very small number of militant imams and other leaders, and... absolutely. absolutely. you cannot deny the muslim origin of this problem. absolutely not. but what you can say and understand are once again fact. you know, we have had zero suicide attacks in most countries. the netherlands, uae, we havejust had under 3000 people die of suicide attacks between 1982 and 2015 in the
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united states. we have had, in the united states. we have had, in the united states, at least 30,000 people die as a result of gun violence every year since 1982 at least. i see the crosses, the kkk, i see they have them and burn them. i do not associate them with such a mainstream movement as christianity, because the majority of people, christians, have nothing to do with that. what you need is people who believe in civilisation, believing perversity, who believe in inclusion, people from all backgrounds, sadiq khan, angela merkel, from the uae, to come together and oppose people who incite hate. they need to do that in the us, especially against people like donald trump. your music is a pa rt like donald trump. your music is a part of that? it is forced to be a pa rt part of that? it is forced to be a part of that? it is forced to be a part of it because i am living in this age. mohammed fairouz, we have
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the end it there. but thank you so much for being on hardtalk thank you. thank you. hello there. plenty going on with our weather in the next few days. ups and downs to come during the week ahead. if you like sunshine, the weekend ended on a high note for most of us. that was the scene on sunday afternoon in northern ireland. the sunset looked like this from our weather watcher in warwickshire. we take some of the sunshine with us into the start of the week. this is the first chunk of weather in the week. monday, tuesday, wednesday, increasing temperatures, hitting 30 on thursday. some rain at times. we start off on a quiet note.
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a brighter note. sunshine around on monday. a bit more cloud for northern and western scotland. that retreats to the northern isles. showers here through the day. elsewhere, dry weather and plenty of sunshine. some high cloud could turn the sunshine a bit hazy in southern england and south wales. but those temperatures could get to 26—27. across northern wales, northern ireland. lots of sunshine. highs of 24. similar temperatures in eastern scotland. always cooler, cloudier, quite blustery in the far north of scotland. the odd shower in the northern isles. during monday night and the early hours of tuesday, high pressure in charge across the country keeping things quiet. there could be the odd fog patch here and there. it starts to turning a bit muggy in southern areas.
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that is a sign of what is to come. tuesday, south—easterly winds drawing warm air from the midcontinent. and with this weather front here, the increasing risk of thunderstorms during the day. fine with sunshine during the day. turning hazy in england and wales. and then later on, the first sign we see some of those thunderstorms rolling into the south—west. but quite a lot of warmth and heat on tuesday. 27 in northern scotland. perhaps further south, hitting 29—30. now, during tuesday night, storms becoming more widespread. gusty winds as well. downpours going north. further thunderstorms breaking out through the day in england and wales. beginning to turn more fresh from the west. still heat and humidity across east anglia and the south—east. but as those storms clear away, all of us will take cooler and fresher weather for the end
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of the week with a bit of rain at times. this is newsday. i'm rico hizon in singapore, the headlines. tensions rise in venezuela, a women is shot dead and three others injured while waiting to vote in an unofficial referendum. a major horsemeat scandal as police arrest more than 60 people across europe accused of trading meat unfit for humans. i'm babita sharma in london. also in the programme: the swiss star does it again, roger federer makes history, winning a record eighth wimbledon men's singles title. it's the doctor, but not as we know it. the bbc reveals the latest actor to play the iconic tv time lord.
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